Table of Contents
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
It’s feast week for NFL fans – lots to digest.
WEEK 12 – NOW THE SEASON STARTS
It’s Thanksgiving week – and as the old adage goes “the NFL season doesn’t really start until Thanksgiving” has arrived at our doorstep. Well if that is the case and your team or your plays stink, now is the time to flip the script, turn the metaphorical page and find some real form for the most meaningful moments of the season. The NFL’s week 12 offers a feast of games starting bright and early Thursday with America’s favorite lovable loser (on a winning streak), the Detroit Lions. We end the holiday schedule with a fraud alert check on the Minnesota Vikings, who come off a blowout loss.
Sunday’s spread features a bunch of middling teams matched up that should help us sort through the pile of trash. It’s time to dig through the holiday football pile and pick a few wild-card contenders and teams that are ready to make that post-Turkey Day run at the postseason. My picks regained some form so let’s eat really good this holiday season.
(Reminder – Thanksgiving squares are absolutely a thing and there’s still time before Turkey Day Football. Get your pool started now!)
Thursday Night Kickoff (and Finale)
Vikings (-3) vs Patriots – Be sure to check out my comprehensive breakdown of Thursday’s NFL and sports action, from the first bite to the last whistle. The night capper that’s often hard to stay up for features an anemic Pats offense against a Vikings defense that was just throttled by the Cowboys. Something has to give, while I’m just over here wondering if the infamous “Kirk Cousins in primetime” jinx continues.
Bucs (-3) @ Browns – Tom Brady and the semi-desperate Bucs roll into the Dog pound to likely do some damage. I fondly remember Brady lighting up past Browns teams in his Pats days, and something tells me that the back is broken on Cleveland’s chances for success. This week could cement and reinvigorate some TB12 hype.
Bengals (-1.5) @ Titans – An intriguing matchup that rematches last season’s wild-card weekend opponents. Joe Burrow and the Bengals snuck by on late heroics last year in Nashville, could it be a repeat storyline? Both squads are in the playoff conversation but have yet to have that inspiring performance to excite the public. This is surely a knockdown, drag-out affair that’s low in scoring, with plenty of Derrick Henry featured.
Jets (-6) vs Bears – Oh, the Jets. No matter how ugly and decrepit the Patriots look even in 2022, the Jets still find a way to Jet it up and hand over a victory. From Sam Darnold seeing ghosts to stubborn Zack Wilson’s ineptitude, they are still the gift that keeps on giving. Now they’re favored by almost a score against a wild beast of a QB in Justin Fields? This feels like a game that could go over the total pretty fast.
Chiefs (-14.5) vs Rams – In what has to be the most savage super bowl hangover in recent memory, the Rams are nowhere near their championship self. There’s officially no more Cooper Kupp for what feels like the season, so the inspiration is low for McVay and company. The line here sticks out as very large, but there’s no telling what Rams team you get on the road.
Night Pick of the Week
Eagles (-7) vs Packers – Well, I’ve officially taken Aaron Rodgers off the ventilator this season, but I get a strange feeling this game stays close and likely within a score. I’m much more sold on the Eagles long-term than I am on the Vikings in the NFC picture, but I do think they peaked a bit early and should regress to the mean in a short time.
THE “WHO CARES?” GAME
As the season schedules dwindle away, you almost have to scroll by these impressively bad matchups a few times before you actually see them. This week’s stinker is in Charlotte where the 3-8 Panthers (+3) are hosting Russell Wilson and the Broncos. The saddest part of this game might be Over/Under 35, one of the lowest of the NFL Season between any two teams. Might be a great game for field goals kicked prop bet!
WEIRD VIBE PREDICTION OF THE WEEK
Panthers +12.5 was so smelly I could not resist, and sure enough, they delivered the ugliest cover of 2022 losing 13-3. So now our quest has to take us to a bet with an odor so repulsive it brings back haunting memories. That weird vibe stinker is the Rams +14.5 at Arrowhead. There’s little to no analytic point that has them competitive in this game, so we have to zag and play the defending champs on the road when nobody else dares.
WEEK 11 RECAP
It was gritty but we figured things out and came out a winner in week 11. Shout out to the Lions for covering, the Cowboys for domination in Minnesota, and an ugly UNDER affair in the Texans/Commanders. We take 3-2 and we don’t complain and we move on and do it again – that’s the name of the game this time of year.
Week Ten: 3-2 ATS, Season Overall: 28-28-1 ATS
EARLY WEEK 12 NFL PLAYS FOR ALEX
We’ll start off with the Bucs on the road taking care of business against an inexperienced and unmanned Browns defense. Bucs -3.
I’m not sure if the Texans cover in Miami, but they’ll drag the Dolphins down to their level and this game stays Under 46.5 points.
This is another one of those “close your eyes and wince” at the window bets – give me the Rams +14.5.
The Steelers found a little more MOJO with Kenny Pickett, and Matt Ryan back at the helm for Indy – I like the Over 39 points there.
Other leans: Patriots +3, Packers +7
Not in an NFL pick’em pool yet? Create your own today to get in on the action as the season heats up!
EATS AND DEETS
The best crowd: Absolutely Jerry World on Thanksgiving Day, it’s a setting as American as Apple Pie.
Goofiest line: Ravens only a ¾ point favorite in Jacksonville? Makes you stop for a second…
Simultaneous screen count: Break them all out, just cause it’s the holidays and we need options for viewing to get us through it all.
Tailgate pick of the week: The leftover Thanksgiving sandwich – toasted bread or roll, turkey, potatoes or stuffing, and your condiment of choice.